New Orleans is already on the brink of having its playoff hopes dashed thanks to its still-atrocious overall defense. Even without Greg Olsen and with some kinks in the short passing game, Cam Newton can enjoy rearing back and firing deep in this game. Drew Brees will see more pass-rush discomfort, as a rally falls short for him and his own big targets.
Derek Carr and Kirk Cousins are well-paid leaders, and that will make for a compelling shootout as each QB throws it around the park to multiple receivers. The key, then, will be which team can run more effectively to open things up for deeper passes. Marshawn Lynch has shown his old powerful self, and Washington has shown some of that style with its own backfield. Carr also comes in totally in sync with familiar targets, while Cousins is dealing with a go-to guy change and a banged-up group of receivers. The Silver and Black puts on a good road show to plunder FedEx and turn Beast Mode into horse-trailer love.
So it didn’t take very long �� just one half �� for the Deshaun Watson era to begin. He’s bound to struggle more with that line and limited supporting cast, but his arm and legs are the best they’ve got.
A blowout win is a pretty good way to kick off the second season of Jared Goff, with him looking like a QB worthy of the No. 1 overall pick. Now comes the hard part: doing it against somebody other than the Colts’ defense.
Aaron Rodgers needed to make only one money throw thanks to the team turning one of its best defensive efforts in a long while against Seattle. Now the Packers go for a double vs. NFC contenders in Atlanta, with Dallas also looming in three weeks.
To be the best in the AFC, you have to beat the best in the AFC. The Chiefs had a resounding response to their playoff disappointment by roaring back in Foxborough. Alex Smith and Kareem Hunt need to keep it up as a dynamic offensive duo.